Saturday 24 March 2018

Public support strong as Israeli toll rises

Ben Lynfield

In Hamas's view, Monday was one of the most successful days of the war. For the Israeli army it was one of the costliest. Israelis were reeling in grief yesterday as they buried 10 soldiers killed in the hostilities in three separate incidents on Monday.

For the tightly knit Israeli society used to the Arab side bearing the brunt of the fatalities, 10 in one day is a huge number.

News broadcasts opened yesterday with the names and funeral times of the fallen soldiers, a long list recited in sombre tones. But despite the amount of Israeli soldier fatalities – 53 in fighting thus far – being greater than was anticipated, public support for the campaign is high. An Israel Democracy Institute poll this week stated 95pc of Israelis view this as a "justified'' war.

The Israeli deaths were an indication of how the price of the war may become very steep if Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu decides to escalate the campaign in Gaza.

For now, at least, the deaths are not likely to undercut support. (© Independent News Service)

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